Starting later this week, 50 different Pokémon from the Ruby and Sapphire editions will be introduced for Pokémon GO players to hunt down. This includes the starters for the Hoenn region—Treecko, Torchic, and Mudkip—as well as other favorites like Salamence, Ludicolo, and the legendary Groudon. Also featured in the update are new weather effects, which will make it easier to encounter select Pokémon and even affect the potency of certain moves.
The full roster of new Pokés can be seen here, and includes many of the generation’s most enduring Pokémon—Gardevoir, Metagross, and the full suite of legendary Pokémon. However, the most significant news is definitely the implementation of the weather system. The press release details six types of weather conditions: sunny, rainy, snowy, foggy, partly cloudy, and windy. These can increase the chances of different Mons popping up, such as a Mudkip in the rain. With the prevalence of Pokémon no longer limited to the geography and time of day, there are suddenly many more reasons to boot up the game all year round.
If Pokémon GO has even half as many players as it did in summer of this year—5 million per day, and 65 million per month—then this change should reach a huge amount of players. And on the backs of the recent gym overhaul, raid battles, and boss encounters, the new update could even bring some back into the fold. One of the reasons for the original exodus of trainers was the lack of coordination with or response to the players by developer Niantic, but lately they seem to be making a concerted effort to overhaul the experience and win that base back again. Time will tell if this effort enough, but it’s a good one—after all, it seems like a lot of people like Mudkips.